Feature Request: Graphical Milestone Management
After seeing Trello I was originally thinking of using it for a top level milestone planning in meeting. After playing with it some I realized its missing a critical piece, dependencies. After a little more thought I realized what I needed was a display of several linked lists in a sliding window. This way I could logically layout the various phases of development, rollout, etc.. on a high level so everyone can see what's still to come. ie that shiny new feature doesn't happen until phase 3 because of some tool and database refactoring that's needed before hand. So when planning things out everyone sees that "oh phases 1 and 2 have to happen first and they're each 2 weeks long so I won't be getting that shiny new feature for at least a month" if we choose to make it a priority.
In the end this is mostly a way to visualize milestones across the system. What's been missing for us is a bird's eye view of what's down the road, or in other words a great view for meetings. If you're planning the next 3 months, 6 months, a year it'd be nice to "see" the impact of moving priorities around, where the give and take is without jumping through various schedules and piecing back together what's dependent on what.
As a small company our backlog of new feature ideas is already bigger than what we have resources to do, so planning for us is more about getting the most ROI we can smartly. A big part of that is keeping everyone on the same page and by everyone I mean developers, owners, customer support, and customers. Fogbugz is already helping quite a bit, but something like this would allow managing / seeing the big picture to be much more accessible to everyone.
I've diagrammed an example:
- Each vertical section is a different project.
- "Current" represents milestones where now is within its date range.
- The items off to the far right are milestones without a startdate set.
This view would have the following abilities:
- Create new milestones
- Create dependent milestones by clicking its parent and choosing create dependent milestone.
- edit milestone properties
- drag reordering of milestones to flip flop dependencies or drag off to the right to unschedule it. Dragging will also move all dependent milestones with it.
- hover over and see cases assigned and/or summary (# of cases, # of people assigned, etc..)
- quick assign cases to milestone. Mostly for small #'s of case assignment, larger batch assignments should probably still be done in the list case view.
- project filter
- print and fullscreen view, nice for meeting and outputting screen to a projector/tv.
- show official and est completion dates. possibly show probability distribution as that node's background image, or hover to see.
- "Next" could be a smart blocking depending on the official due date distributions. If your milestones are always in 3 month blocks then it would show x number of Next 3 month blocks. Could be a configurable "Show me X months of the schedule."
- Current/Next internally would show a timeline. Having just had to back up a few milestones I can't just start with the first one and bump all dependent ones back, I had to start with the end ones and move forward. This ties into #4 where dragging one milestone bumps dates of all dependent ones back as well. Could show message/warning about it happening, "Approve new completion date?".
The idea of "Current" needs a little work, perhaps a global milestone with multiple dependent milestones to mark a "release / rollout", but probably something else entirely. Needs more thought.